Authentication, LDAP, phpMyAdmin

I’ve had a long standing problem. Every time I rebuild my main server (which contains my websites, my mail, my ldap directory, etc), I get myself wrapped around the axle with authentication. I particularly seem to get into trouble with authenticating access to phpMyAdmin. I use ldap for basic authentication in apache. This morning I figured out some obvious things (they are always obvious once you figure them out). I write this down so that the next time I make the same mistake, I’ll have someplace to look to trigger my memory. If it should happen that anyone else who suffers from the same density could get any help from this, so much the better.

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Self-inflicted disaster

The blog portion of my website is wordpress, the remainder (that the public can’t see) is php built with Zend framework. The whole thing sits upon a linux box, running fedora, which is in a facility on the other side of the nation from me. The server was 4 releases behind, hadn’t been upgraded in 2 years, and hadn’t even been rebooted in 288 days. I was hosting not only my own website, but 8-10 others for other people – friends and acquaintances who for whatever reason don’t have or can’t afford a hosting service. Obviously things were going entirely too well.


So, a few days ago I decided to upgrade to a new release of Fedora (or, put another way, I decided to shoot myself in the foot).

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Today I flew N8132Y to the Lake County Airport in Leadville, Colorado. This airport has the distinction of being the highest paved runway in North America, at 9927 feet. The folks at the airport tell me that it is the third highest in the world, after one in Nepal and another in Peru.
It is a beautiful flight on a nice day, although there is no escaping the fact that flying through the mountain valleys you are going to get bumped around a little. For me, this is part of the challenge of learning to fly in the mountains. I have never quite gotten used to turbulence, even mild turbulence. Most of my flying has been over the plains, and all in good weather. If it is turbulent out, mostly I don’t fly (although my private checkride was an exception). But if you go over the mountains at the lower altitudes of these small planes, there are going to be air currents. You just have to expect it, and learn to keep your heart from jumping into your throat. After all, the wings are not going to fall off.
The second thing which makes these flights different is the requirement that you constantly be thinking about where you will put the plane if you have to make an emergency landing. Naturally this is way less of an issue in a turbo-normalized twin like 32Y. If I lose an engine, I have another, and with the turbos I can maintain altitude with one engine, and find a place to put down safely. But I’m still thinking about it. How far am I from surrounding airports? Is there a reasonable straight road around?
Finally, there is the excitement of trying to take off in a fully fueled plane, in August, at 9934 feet! Right now with temp/dp at 19/-1 and 30.46 inches, density altitude is 12,100! The runway is 6400′ for just this reason. Fortunately, with N8132Y’s turbos this isn’t really that much of a challenge, but for a normally aspirated engine 6400′ would seem awfully damn short. I wouldn’t want to try taking off today in a fully loaded 172.

Vino, Vinagre, VNC

Another bit of lore that I don’t use often, manage to forget, and end up having to figure out again from time to time:

Vinagre is obsolete. This was the name of the previous built in remote viewing client in gnome (and therefore, for my purposes, in both Ubuntu and Fedora). It will operate as a VNC client (i.e. enable opening windows to VNC servers), but also an RDP client and will even pop up a terminal window for an SSH session. .

Remmina is the new remote viewing client, replacing Vinagre.

Vino is the name of the built in VNC server. This is launched when you invoke the “desktop sharing” preference and enable “allow other users to view your desktop”. Your gnome instance sprouts a vino server listening on 5900, giving (possibly password protected) access to the existing desktop to any vnc client that can reach port 5900. A remote user attached in this way is sharing the desktop with the user seated at the “console”. When either moves the mouse, both will see the cursor move on the the display.

Realvnc, Tightvnc, Tigervnc, Ultravnc are all different forks of the original VNC. Realvnc was the first, from the original devlopers. Tightvnc developed improvements in the encoding (tight encoding) if both ends are tightvnc. Tigervnc seems to be a Fedora fork of tightvnc. All will work with other, but some improvements only kick in if both ends share the improvement.

Xvnc in linux (as installed with the tigervnc package) is a little different animal. It is really a two-headed server, with an X server on one side and a vnc server on the other. The X server is an entirely separate virtual display than the console. There is no physical monitor anywhere, but applications can be started which open that X server and display upon it. On the other side, VNC clients are able to view and control the applications which are displaying on the X server. When the X server is launched, any X applications wanted can also be launched — including an entire gnome desktop environment (entirely independent of the gnome environment which might be running on the “console”, if there is one). Multiple users can have different desktop environments open, albeit using different network ports for each. VNC ports normally start at 5900, which vino attempts to use if it is enabled. So different remote users can use 5901, 5902, 5903…  Continue reading Vino, Vinagre, VNC